How do people in seattle afford housing?

Amazon oclue
Apr 21 91 Comments

Even being at faang with a tc of 230k i am not sure how in the future i can afford a 4br house near work or in redmond/bellevue area. I wonder how do non faang engineers who earn lesser or just regular people afford housing in seattle area? Currently i cant find anything decent below 1 mil in redmond/kirkland/bellevue etc.

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TOP 91 Comments
  • Amazon / Product
    fc2lmtYuk

    Amazon Product

    PRE
    FCB Global
    BIO
    Not so proud Product Manager in Last Mile tech
    fc2lmtYukmore
    Your WANTS are high. Chk your NEEDs, you will find something affordable. There are million people who are not in FAANG and live here.
    Apr 21 6
    • New / Ops
      tooQ10

      New Ops

      PRE
      Rakuten USA
      tooQ10more
      How many kids do you have? You may need lots of bedrooms, but you absolutely don't need _three thousand_ square feet. Huge families have been raised in a lot less space.
      Apr 21
    • NASDAQ / Eng Oswego
      Hahahahahahah you need 4 bedrooms and 3000 sq feet ?! Jesus, only in America.
      Apr 21
    • Google Mr. Glass 
      Lol. Moving out of Seattle is your best bet.
      Apr 21
    • Amazon oclue
      OP
      I have 3 kids
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft Vbsm66
      Even if you "need" a 1M place, it should be trivial for you to save enough for a 200K down payment. That's just one year's worth of salary. You should be able to do it in 3 years at the most.
      Apr 21
  • Facebook ☑️
    Choose one:
    1. Have parents who can help financially with the down payment
    2. Both husband and wife work and have higher household TC
    3. Move out to Bothell / Lynnwood / Renton / Kent
    4. Become house poor
    Apr 21 12
    • Expedia Yoyofog
      Kent might be a really rough commute, but probably much cheaper. Renton is probably half the price of close in bellevue, but also not a great commute to Bellevue, and probably bad to seattle as well.... Check Kenmore?
      Apr 21
    • Amazon thereyago
      Over 20 min to Seattle from Bothell?! Try up to 3 hours one way. I have been doing that commute for 5 years, so this is first hand knowledge.
      Apr 21
    • I feel 3 hours and 20 mins both are emotional answers. OP should check the traffic to all those places at 9am and 6pm and should get non emotional answers easily
      Apr 21
    • Amazon / Eng Sde:2
      I live in Bothell (near 520) and it takes me around 30-35 mins everyday. I leave everyday around 9:00-9:15 am (with some exceptions when it takes around 45-50mins).
      Apr 21
    • Amazon AWSGemalto
      I live in Woodinville and it takes around 15-20 mins to dt Bellevue.. pay the toll and it’s a breeze on 405. It would look expensive @$6-$7 initially but just factor it into your monthly expenses..
      Apr 29
  • I think we're pushing the boundaries of entitlement with this one.
    Apr 21 0
  • Uber yuierr
    This is like asking a 2500sqt house in Mountain View with 300k income. Not realistic
    Apr 21 7
    • Facebook public2
      Assuming you have 20% down your monthly take home is 16500 and your mortgage is 9500. If single rent out extra rooms if you need more than 7500 a month
      Apr 21
    • Oracle / Eng I@m
      16500 is not pay check. For most in tech we need to wait for RSU vesting
      Apr 21
    • Facebook public2
      That doesn't change anything; it's still 16500 a month. I suppose if you cannot figure out how to budget 3 months instead of 1 month you probably shouldn't be buying a house?
      Apr 21
    • Oracle / Eng I@m
      Huh? You do know not all companies have 3 month vesting. Don't be so critical
      Apr 21
    • Facebook public2
      The vast majority do, do you know any that do not? Even if it was once a year that's fine as well just divide by 12. They asked how and I explained how easy it would be. Not sure what is critical.
      Apr 22
  • Amazon / Other yvrzonian
    Dude, quit, find a better COLA place in other parts of the US, with good schools and get a decent 100k job and you'll live close to work in your 5br mansion.
    Apr 21 7
    • Facebook public2
      I didn't imply the economy wasn't healthy. I implied that demand was low for a reason.
      Apr 21
    • Amazon / Other yvrzonian
      Okay, fair enough. My point is, the big tech monopoly companies we work for, are actually destroying the economy at a grand scale. There is not much tech demand in those low income areas, because good incomes in tech require business models at global scale. And that destroys the possibility to compete at regional scale only. The good news is, it won't work another 20 years like it used to be until now.
      Apr 21
    • Yvrzonian what’s your recommendation for such city
      Apr 21
    • Amazon hdhevsc
      Not OP, but quality of life in the Minneapolis area is quite high. Very easy to make 100k, but very hard to make 300k. You can get a 5br McMansion in a good school district for $400k though
      Apr 21
    • Amazon / Other yvrzonian
      @pulitzer Anchorage ;) with climate change in mind safe for future generations to raise as well.
      Apr 21
  • Amazon 63784747
    How about your spouse? Housing market is based on 2 person income because many potential clients are earning over 400k together, at least who can afford in those areas!
    Apr 21 4
    • Amazon oclue
      OP
      My wife makes around 60k and im at 235k. Total tc just below 300k. I also have 200k of amazon in shares which i plan to use for house purchase. But if i use all that to buy a 1 mil+ house ill be house poor as i got 3 kids. Also i plan to switch to msft as im done with my 4 years at amazon and my tc for year 5 is like 190k something.
      Apr 21
    • Amazon 63784747
      Ya, 1 mil+ is too much. Only FAANG couples can afford that!
      Apr 21
    • Amazon oclue
      OP
      So i think in my case 700k should be max for purchase?
      Apr 21
    • Amazon 63784747
      Ya, cause you got 3 kids. Otherwise you could have afforded up to 850k!
      Apr 21
  • Microsoft blind1186
    Bothell.
    Apr 21 2
    • Microsoft Ń&)))7?(;
      Best option for affordable price.
      Apr 21
    • New jbnote1
      I have many indians recommend me Bothell? Is it quite famous among just indians or is it an upcoming hot property area?
      Apr 21
  • Facebook public2
    Join fang and 2x your salary inmediately then 4x after a few years. Invest during that time and then buy. Easy.
    Apr 21 7
    • Facebook public2
      I don't get it. Are you saying OP doesn't work at amzn or that amzn doesn't have a salary cap?
      Apr 23
    • Facebook public2
      Both are equally valid. In the other thread OP is making 400k and wants to buy a house. In this thread OP is making half that and wants to buy a house. The advice is therefore different. What do you think the "fool" is here?
      Apr 23
    • Facebook public2
      Happens all the time, ask the thousands of of people who move fang every year.
      Apr 24
    • Facebook public2
      Broaden your search, they hire many folks from amazon!
      Apr 24
    • Facebook public2
      Don't need a level change.
      Apr 25
  • Amazon oclue
    OP
    Being close to work i.e amazon/msft is my top priority. Seems like the price range in this area is over a mil for my needs, unless im not looking correctly?
    Apr 21 4
    • Facebook public2
      Location location location. Avoid all temptation to live far away. Save and buy later.
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

      BIO
      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      Close to work / have a family / not be broke

      Pick any two
      Apr 21
    • Facebook public2
      Why not all 3?
      Apr 21
    • Facebook
      Bdudhrysb

      Facebook

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Bdudhrysbmore
      Because 80,000 AMZN and MSFT employees are competing for the same ideal housing location where there are maybe only a few thousand houses. There are enough people in that huge pool of professionals who can either afford it or are willing to be house poor, so that’s the price :(
      May 13
  • Dropbox puts&calls
    With Amazon's salary cap of 170k or whatever, do most amazonians use their RSUs when buying a house? You can't afford much on sde2 TC.
    Also, plenty of tech companies in Seattle that pay better than Amazon and not F/G.
    Apr 21 2
    • Amazon ddddk
      this. you need 4 br. you better make more $
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft blind1186
      I could have bought 4 BR house had Dropbox hired me :P
      Apr 21
  • New / IT
    Cornball

    New IT

    PRE
    Booking.com, Cadence Design Systems
    BIO
    Blind leading the blind...
    Cornballmore
    Tacoma 🤡
    Apr 21 0
  • Microsoft gfba68
    Why not look at cheaper neighborhoods? Plenty of places with cheaper housing. Living in the most desirable location is a want, not a need.
    Apr 21 3
    • Amazon oclue
      OP
      Can u plz recommend a few? Im new here. Also where do most msft/amzn ppl live?
      Apr 21
    • Issaquaha or Sammamish ?
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft gfba68
      Rainier Beach, Beacon Hill, Renton, Northgate. Basically the edges of Seattle
      Apr 24
  • Microsoft richardhea
    How about a two bedroom apartment? It is what you really need, anything more is useless luxury and you should pay through the nose for it.
    🍆
    Apr 21 2
    • Dropbox fixer17
      That wouldnt be too bad except he has three kids.
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft BinbowsXP
      Owning your own property is useless luxury. Just keep paying your rent to the guy that owns the apartment and let him suffer in his “useless luxury”
      Apr 21
  • Salesforce op
    1. Build a time machine and buy in 2011. This is what I did but without the time machine.

    2. Pay with your comfort. Consider smaller house, a townhouse, an older house etc.

    3. Pay with you commute time (might be not that bad if your work schedule is flexible and you can commute in off peak hours)
    Klahanie, Issaquah Highlands, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Preston, Falls City, Duvall, Carnation etc are decent options with decent schools. Even Tahoma school district is decent according to my acquaintances.

    4. Win lottery.
    May 3 5
    • Amazon seattle18
      How much a 1 mil house today in seattle would have costed in 2011
      May 3
    • Amazon / Finance 25apr
      400k maybe?
      May 3
    • Amazon seattle18
      F%*@ no!! Really?
      May 3
    • Amazon / Finance 25apr
      Yup, I think that is even a pretty conservative guess. Somewhere I read 93pc increase since 2012 on certain properties.
      May 3
    • Salesforce op
      500-550k
      May 3
  • Amazon 🏄 🦈
    My TC is 500k and I am just starting to think I can afford a starter home here
    Apr 21 3
    • Amazon / Other yvrzonian
      What do you consider as a starter home?
      Apr 21
    • Amazon 🏄 🦈
      1.1 or 1.2 mil around here. In any normal place it would be a third of that.
      Apr 21
    • Amazon / Other yvrzonian
      Is this like a 2bed townhouse or condo?
      Apr 21
  • Microsoft SheepSleep
    You should definitely research the pending light rail routes, which could give you decent commute options in the relatively near future.
    Most of the housing prices are driven by school districts. Bellevue was also inflated for a time due to foreign investments.
    Commuting from the south (Renton/Kent) will generally be challenging. 1 hour plus to go 10 miles. Renton schools don’t have the best reputation although several have recently been rebuilt. Kent schools are fairly good but parts of both Kent/Renton are less safe.
    You have some interesting sweet spots, like the East Renton highlands that can be mapped to Issaquah schools, which are generally excellent. Pricing will be well below Bellevue. That said, Bellevue houses south of SE 60th are much more affordable because they map to Renton schools. Newcastle is a nice area and close to Bellevue but map to Renton Schools as well.
    I am much less familiar with the north end. Kirkland is a nice area but close to Bellevue on price. Redmond is still generally more affordable than Bellevue but not cheap. Good schools in general.
    Need to do lots of research as outlined above regarding commute times.
    I feel like you can absolutely afford a nice home in several areas surrounding and including Bel/Red depending on the exact neighborhood.
    Apr 21 2
    • New hqWe60
      isnt the light rail supposed to finish in like 20 years though?
      Apr 24
    • Microsoft SheepSleep
      Depends on the project area. That is where the research part is important. I think the DuPont extension project finishes in 15 years, Redmond is 2.
      Apr 24
  • Amazon 22/7
    Being a two earners family!
    May 3 0
  • Amazon oclue
    OP
    I was just researching and seems like amazon have offices in some very low cost of living cities too such as detroit, phoenix, austin etc. Also i jve heard pay is same. Maybe considering to switch there will be worthwhile. If me and wife can make 250k in one of the above cities i guess i can afford a mansion.
    Apr 21 1
    • Amazon 🏄 🦈
      Pay is the same as Seattle but lower than NYC or Bay Area which have higher bands. But yeah those places have lower cost of living than Seattle does now
      Apr 22
  • Microsoft
    Tier 1

    Microsoft

    BIO
    #1 in Prestige
    Tier 1more
    Why do you need 4br?
    Apr 21 1
    • Amazon oclue
      OP
      3 kids? Also parents and other guests come to visit some time. Me and wife make almost 300 grand which is like top 5% of usa, and still it feels to me i cant afford to buy a reasonable house to fit all my family in. I have 3 kids, which i believe are not a lot. Maybe i should have settled for 2.
      Apr 21
  • Keller Williams VpTn85
    You should talk to a lender to get pre-approved and see how much you can afford. And there are definitely options as far as the area.....Remember now your tenant is gaining equity on the property you are renting ... not you .....
    Aug 21 0